Outagamie Co. emergency mgt. director out

APPLETON – Just as severe weather season begins, Outagamie County is without its emergency management director.

County Executive Tom Nelson says Julie Loeffelholz is no longer in the position as of today.

Loeffelholz has been under fire since last August for failing to sound tornado sirens as tornadoes were ripping up the county.

Outagamie County officials won’t say if emergency mangement director Julie Loeffelholz was fired, or if she resigned Monday.

“What led up to her no longer being employed?” FOX 11’s Kelly Schlicht asked Nelson on Monday.

“I can’t get into those specifics, obviously. That’s kind of crossing into a personnel question,” said Nelson.

Outagamie County Public Safety Committee Chair Jim Duncan says he’s pleased with the change.

“Obviously, we concur with their decision, because, and I told them that I would say that, because back in September, we would make a recommendation that some sort of disciplinary action would be taken,” said Duncan.

FOX 11 tried to contact Loeffelholz but did not receive a call back.

She spoke to FOX 11 News last week as the county tested its tornado sirens for the statewide drill.

“The software that we have tests them at 10 a.m. We test them through our software at noon every day, inaudibly,” she said.

Nelson would not comment on the timing of Loeffelholz’s departure. He says there were no problems with the drill on Thursday.

Duncan says there were issues with drill, and how Loeffelholz handled it.

Duncan said Loeffelholz did not let the company that operates the alert system software know about the drill prior to that day, as she was supposed to.

“You can turn on the siren manually. Which is, I understand, what happened the first time after she ended up not having it go on through the software. And that took seven minutes,” said Duncan.

Loeffelholz’s departure also comes a few days after another report was released. It showed her department failed to sound emergency sirens on August 7 during this severe storm, which caused $30 million in damage.

Nelson says that’s not the reason she’s no longer working for the county.

Nelson says he hopes to appoint an interim director soon.

For now, the Deputy Emergency Management Director Mike Pamperin will be in charge.

 

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